NGC 3132 is nearly half a light year in diameter, and at a distance of about 2,000 light-years in the constellation Vela is one of the nearest known planetary nebulae.
Two very close central stars can be seen within the nebulosity, one of 10th magnitude, the other 16th. The angular separation between these is only 1.7 arc-sec.
The central planetary nebula nucleus (PNN) or white dwarf central star is the fainter of these two stars.
This hot central star of about 100,000 K has now blown off its layers and is making the nebula fluoresce brightly from the emission of its intense ultraviolet radiation.
See a high resolution image from the Hubble telescope here.
Ha-OIII-SII-RGB (Ha 7x40m, OIII 7x40m, SII 7x40m, R 6x20m, G 6x20m, B 6x20m) total 20 h combined. Seeing 0.7-1.2 arc-sec, North is up
80cm f/7 Astrooptik Keller corrected cassegrain, FLI Proline 16803, Baader Filters, Prompt 7 CTIO Chile
Processing: Johannes Schedler
See a deeper version using all files below (RGB and NB Hubble palette) in 35/120% size
Only the sharpest raw files had been used to resolve the central double star (RGB and NB Hubble palette), see second row in 100/200% size
|RGB Version in 35/120%
|NB Version in 35/120%
|RGB Version in 100/200%
|NB Version in 100/200%